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May 29, 2020, 9:39 a.m.
Audience & Social

Twitter adds a new warning to a Trump tweet: “This tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence”

It wasn’t the first time Trump has tweeted something vile, but for the first time, Twitter did something about it.

As protestors in Minneapolis denounced the murder of George Floyd, an African American man, by a white police officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for five minutes despite his protests that he couldn’t breathe, and as protests spread across the rest of the country over police killings of black people, and as a team of CNN journalists was arrested on live TV as they covered the Minneapolis protests — and as the number of people in the United States who have died of COVID-19 surpassed 100,000 — Trump tweeted.

At 12:53 AM on Friday morning, the President of the United States wrote that protestors should be shot. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he wrote. “Thank you!” It was certainly not the first time that Trump has tweeted something vile, but for the first time, Twitter did something about it: The company added a warning to the tweet and prevented users from liking it or sharing it without adding a comment.

The White House then tweeted the same tweet from its own account — and Twitter flagged that one for glorifying violence, too.

Earlier in the week, Twitter had added fact-checks to Trump tweets about mail-in ballots for the first time.

“The company needed to do what’s right, and we knew from a comms perspective that all hell would break loose,” Brandon Borrman, Twitter’s VP of global communications, told Will Oremus at Medium’s OneZero.

Trump on Thursday signed an executive order attempting to limit the power of social media companies. It was “a very, very clear piece of political theater” that could not be legally binding, law professor Kate Klonick told NPR.

POSTED     May 29, 2020, 9:39 a.m.
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